Léon Mugesera to be tried in Kinyarwanda
The High Court yesterday rejected Genocide suspect Léon Mugesera’s plea to be tried in French.
Mugesera had appealed a decision by the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court to have his trial conducted in Kinyarwanda.
“The pre-trial detention hearings have all been conducted in Kinyarwanda and he has clearly shown he understands and speaks Kinyarwanda,” Judge Anthanase Bakuzakunde said in court.
He added that; “Mugesera’s speech was in Kinyarwanda, the witnesses understand Kinyarwanda so we see no benefit in using French.”
Mugesera is charged with plotting and inciting genocide, and distribution of arms.
Mugesera legally detained
In Mugesera’s appeal to the High Court, he also challenged his detention, claiming he was never served with a charge sheet.
But during an earlier hearing, Prosecutor John Bosco Mutangana, assisted by the Head of Fugitive Tracking Unit, John Bosco Siboyintore, challenged Mugesera presenting him with four separate documents proving the contrary.
“It has been proven that Mugesera was informed about the charges against him, to which he pleaded not guilty before the judicial police. He has also been facilitated with all forms of communication and has managed to talk to his foreign lawyers and family,” the Judge said.
Mugesera was deported to Rwanda from Canada in January this year, after exhausting all judicial avenues to block deportation, taking close to two decades.
He is mainly accused of having made an inflammatory speech in which he called upon the Hutu to eliminate Tutsi whom he called various derogatory names like ‘scum’ or cockroaches.
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw